FOXBORO, Mass. — The Antonio Brown era in New England was short-lived. The Patriots released the wide receiver Friday afternoon.
The Patriots made a statement to go along with the roster move:
“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”
Brown was accused of rape and sexual assault in a civil lawsuit the day after he was signed by the Patriots. He allegedly threatened another woman who had accused him of sexual misconduct in text messages Wednesday night.
The Patriots signed Brown on Sept. 9. He caught four passes for 56 yards with a touchdown in the Patriots’ Week 2 win over the Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots owed Brown a $5 million signing bonus payment on Monday. He signed a one-year, $15 million contract with a $9 million signing bonus plus another $1 million guaranteed. It’s possible there’s language in the contract that could void the entire deal based on the allegations against Brown.
The Patriots are left with Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski and Matthew Slater on their wide receiver depth chart. They also have rookie N’Keal Harry on injured reserve, eligible to return Week 9, and Cameron Meredith on the physically unable to perform list, eligible to return in Week 7.